The Planet Offers Service Credits for Outage

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CEO Doug Erwin of The Planet said last night that the company will provide a one-month service credit for customers affected by the lengthy outage caused by Saturday’s electrical explosion and fire at The Planet’s Houston data center. The credit will be applied proactively to all June invoices, he said. Erwin said the company will offer additional credits and discounts to customers who continue to host their servers with The Planet.

“We recognize that this has been a massive outage, causing tremendous disruption to your business,” Erwin said in an audio message posted on the Planet’s status page. “We do not feel this was our fault, but we want to make a statement that we stand behind our SLA and our actions, and want to do more than we are required to do.”

As a result, The Planet will offer a second one-month service credit in December 2007 to any customers in the Houston data center (known as H1) who decide to continue with the company. Erwin said The Planet will also offer those customers a 10 percent discount on any additional purchases of servers or services between now and the end of 2008.


A service level agreement (SLA) defines uptime guarantees from the provider, and spells out financial terms of any failure to meet those standards. While the additional credits and discounts may indeed go beyond the terms of the SLA, they are also structured to try and retain disgruntled customers – clearly a top priority in the wake of the length of the outage and widespread expressions of anger and disappointment from customers.

One customer thread about the outage on The Planet’s customer forum has reached 89 pages, with more than 1,750 messages.

While power has now been restored to all areas of the H1 data center, The Planet said it continues work to restore servers that were damaged during the event. The company said it ordered more than 200 power supplies and other hardware components to replace failed equipment.

Erwin also said The Planet has decided to completely replace the conduit from the street to the H1 data center containing electrical and network wiring. The replacement will require the company to dig up its parking lot and bury all new conduit.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.